Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 31 - 10/21/12



10/20/12

That's the whole fun of these chickens, isn't it?  Figuring stuff out and solving those little problems...it's a never ending, but albeit gentle, challenge.  I'm 31 days into figuring out how to help the Gnarly Bunch and have just about cracked the code on bringing every bird back into good health.  I like to take time and watch things sometimes...sometimes time takes care of all of it for me, which makes me grin like a mule eating briars. 

It brings some level of satisfaction when it's all working like a smoothly oiled machine again but I do enjoy the occasional challenge.... just not the kind you often.

Today I'm adding some light to my coop by incorporating some heavy, clear plastic and lifting one side of the tarping to let in the winter sunlight.  I'm just not used to a dark coop and I don't particularly care for one.

Also taking the designated lounge spot that the chickens have chosen and am going to try to utilize the droppings they are leaving there.  We have a log structure outbuilding with a porch area that has a soil floor with black plastic overlay (The Bat is a neat freak and doesn't like dirt tracked into her outbuildings...yes, in her outbuildings). 

Unfortunately, the chickens have chosen this little sheltered area in which to lounge and groom.... and poop.  Drives the Bat a little batty, so I've proposed to turn this spot into a "run" of sorts.  I've raked a goodly amount of leaves into the space so that the poop can just go ahead and exist there, will attract bugs under this leaf cover and the whole thing will get broken down by chicken stomps, bug life, bacterias and yeasts until those leaves are fit to place on the garden come spring. 

It will keep the smell and the appearance of the poop lessened, it will be more pleasant for the birds to have the leaves underfoot instead of plastic and it will, hopefully, compost enough to be tilled into the garden come spring.  It sure as heck looks better than black plastic with bird dandruff and poop piles smashed by chicken feet... pretty leaves hiding the mess just might satisfy the ol' Bat, ya think? 

Gnarly Bunch Daily Update:  Three good eggs, 2 very large, 1 med.   Middle Sister is gaining new ground each day and you can almost SEE her putting on weight and her feathers getting more sleek and smooth. 

I never really got to experience this going from bad to good thing in a flock and it's purely a revelation to me...I'm really liking this feeling.  Maybe that's a woman thing also....I used to love to iron, getting those wrinkles out and making things smooth and pretty.  This holds some of the same satisfaction of running your hands over the newly ironed clothing and reveling in the softness. 

I added a "solarium" feature to the hoop coop today...rolled up one side of the tarping and applied heavy, clear plastic to the wall, fastened with zip ties.  I can bet that I have a couple hundred zip ties in this coop!  I don't know what the human race ever did before zip ties and duct tape...

Anyhoo, the new "window" sure lets in more light and I may get around to doing the other side before it gets blue cold.  I like the natural lighting and the chickens having some place to sun while still being inside.  This small coop is rather limiting for me, but I'll work out the kinks as best I can. 

This coop most definitely will never win the Coop of the Year contest..... 


Gnarly Bunch - Update 11/11/2012 with Before and After Photos!

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